Durban – Orlando Pirates assistant coach Teboho Moloi has taken a swipe at some of the country's top teams ahead of the MTN8 final this weekend.
The Buccaneers, fresh from their semi-final aggregate 2-1victory over rivals Kaizer Chiefs and reaching the last four of the CAF Champions League, play Platinum Stars in the first domestic final of the season in Durban on Saturday.
“Platinum Stars have been scoring against teams that are not of championship material. We are champs, we know how to defend so we're not worried (by their free-scoring record),” Moloi said on Tuesday.
“Teams can't score against us. And for us not to score, as you've seen when we played Zamalek and Al Ahly, it's because teams are afraid of us. They are afraid to play an open game. So they park the bus and you now come up with ideas of going around a bus that has been parked in the field of play.
“Like we did against Kaizer Chiefs. In the second half they parked the bus and they paid the price, that's why they are not here.”
Moloi's reference was to Tuesday's semifinal second leg which ended in a 1-1 draw after a late goal for the Buccaneers.
Roger da Sa's number two also played down suggestions that they were currently going through a scoring crisis after netting just four times in their last six outings.
“The goal-scoring problem that everyone is talking about is not there.
“The goals are being shared amongst our players.”
Despite their woes in front of goal, the Soweto giants have made a solid start to the 2013-14 season after a poor previous campaign when they ended trophyless.
The former midfielder also promised fans that the players were ready to bounce back from those disappointments.
“All the trophies that have been engraved with the Orlando Pirates name on them, we are claiming them back,” he said.
“The shelf is empty and everyone in the team knows that on the cup, it has been engraved Orlando Pirates.
“So you must know we will be regaining our trophy.”
In contrast to Pirates' scoring woes, Stars have been doing well in front of goal, netting nine times already in the competition, while their last six games have yielded seven strikes.
“It's been hard work and discipline to maintain those levels,” assistant Willem Jackson said.
The former Pirates favourite, who played over 100 times for the club between 1996 and 2004, also felt there was little that could be learnt about their final opponents from his time spent in Soweto.
“That was a long time ago, things have changed, they've got different coaches, different style of play,” Jackson added.
“We've seen how they play in the last couple of games and we'll play our game according to that.”
Over 30,000 tickets have been sold for the clash at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where a sell-out 45,000 fans are expected. – Sapa